Tips for Parents: How to Help Your Child Who Just Started College

Everyone understands the importance of higher education in the modern world, so college enrollment becomes one of the top priorities for many young people and their parents. However, despite all the positive sides of such an event, a brand-new life stage involves a lot of stress since it is always hard to change your life upside down. Young people want increased support and understanding on the part of relatives at such a moment. Still, the latter often overlook kids’ needs believing that obtaining a college degree is the best thing that could happen to them. Thus, there is no place for whining and complaining. Such an approach brings more harm than good for both parties and results in alienation. Many students move on to some other countries after graduation to get new experiences, ‘change the world,’ and cut the bond with their families. Perhaps these things are among the reasons why teachers are coming to teach in Africa despite all the issues involved. Therefore, if you don’t want to get into this trap, it’s worth supporting your children.

  1. Encourage Independence

Helicopter parenting leads to a wide range of problems since such children are not used to independent life, so every minor issue turns into an unbearable challenge for them. If you want your kid to better adapt to new circumstances, it is worth correcting your relationships beforehand. You should encourage their independence and widen the range of their responsibilities. Nothing terrible will happen if your kid starts doing some easy things instead of you. For example, indoor flowers can get stressed if you get them outside all of a sudden. Thus, you should wisely teach your kids how to find a solution to a problem instead of babysitting them.

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  1. Continue to Have Difficult Conversations

When your child becomes a college student and moves out, you lose the lion’s share of control that you had earlier. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot affect your kid’s behavior. Of course, they will decide on their studying and sleeping schedules on their own and whether it is worth drinking alcohol and starting a romantic relationship with someone. Even though you cannot make them do everything you would like them to, you can share your beliefs and values on such themes. Numerous studies demonstrate that parents continue to influence their kids’ behavior in many aspects, including risky sexual behavior and alcohol abuse, even after enrollment.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should provide them with too many unsolicited pieces of advice since it can be perceived as a critique, and you will get a reverse effect. It is important to create an atmosphere of open communication and spice up your language with such more correct phrases.

  1. Stay Connected

Starting a new life chapter is always an exciting and stressful moment, so parents should stay in touch with their kids as often as the latter needs. The modern world provides many ways to stay connected, so you can communicate via instant messages, talk by phone, exchange emails, share pics, etc. Besides, don’t forget about care packages that show your child how you love and miss them. Don’t get offended if your student doesn’t respond to all your messages, but they will still know that you are just one call away from them. However, in general, it will not be superfluous to discuss what means of communication will be preferable and how often you will get connected. You should clarify that you don’t want to infringe on their freedom but want to stay on top of things.

  1. Do Not Tell Your Child That “It Is the Best Period in Your Life”

When your kid just gets started, their first year in college can be full of disappointments, doubts, insecurities, and mistakes. Of course, they will make friends with many people, attend parties, and get inspired and motivated by many things too. However, real college life has little to do with cinema-created images. A rare movie will show you that being a student means feeling overwhelmed because of assignments, confused, and scared. A fake ‘beautiful’ picture makes many young people think that something is wrong with them if they don’t feel happy around the clock. If you want to help your kid survive during this period, you should help them realize that the highs and lows are absolutely normal things and an important part of their development.

  1. Checking-In

Provide your kid with a chance to share their feelings and thoughts with you. Students experience new perspectives that might challenge their existing belief systems. It is crucial for you to get rid of judgments and get ready for numerous changes in your kid’s lifestyle. Nonetheless, always trust your gut if you feel that something has gotten out of control.

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